Sushi King heads for Splitsville

2012-05-13 10:00
Mokgadi Seabi
Businessman Kenny Kunene and his wife, Mathato, are headed for Splitsville.

The ex-convict millionaire, who’s known for eating sushi off half-naked models, confirmed exclusively to City Press that they have decided to divorce after realising that “they have different visions in life”.

Although divorce rumours started late last year after his alleged affair with a young radio presenter, the decision is a recent development that will make it to tomorrow’s episode of Kunene’s self-funded and self-produced reality show, So What? on e.tv.

Kunene expressed sadness at the end of his 16-year marriage, but denied that his partying and legions of groupies were to blame.

“Mathato stayed with me through everything, so if it had anything to do with my party lifestyle, she could have divorced me a long time ago. She definitely had a chance to do that when I was in jail, but she didn’t. She knew that the person I am today is the same person I was when we married in 1996,” he says.

Kunene says they had an understanding: he preferred to party, and she wanted to go to church and be at home with the children.

“I was so devastated when Mathato first told me her reasons she wanted a divorce. I went for two weeks without even shaving my head and beard. But I accepted it, mainly because I knew she wasn’t divorcing me because she doesn’t love me any more. We are just at different places in life,” he says.

Speaking on the phone from her hometown of Welkom, Mathato said that although she didn’t want to discuss the details, she was happy the split was amicable.

Kunene said: “Mathato is the mother of my children and the biggest victims in any divorce are the children. I wouldn’t want to take them through all that nonsense you often hear about of couples fighting over material things. I care only about my children and their happiness.”

Kunene claimed that he offered her a “blank cheque”. “True to character – she didn’t marry me for money – she only wanted to keep the house that she lives in and wanted me to continue to pay for her car, which I’m quite happy to do. I’m also going to continue supporting my children and keep her in the lifestyle she’s accustomed to,” he said.

Finding a future partner, he said, would be difficult.

“The problem is that Mathato was such a great wife that any woman who comes after will be scaled against her. And there aren’t many women who’ll put up with a husband who’s still part of his ex-wife’s life, as I plan to be,” he said.

Kunene also denied rumours that he’d run out of money.

“Just because we closed down ZAR, it doesn’t mean that money has run out. Right now I’m wearing a R15 000 pair of jeans and an R8 000 Gucci shirt. I still travel on a private jet, as people can see on my show,” he said.

“I still drive my cars and I still stay at my penthouse in Sandton. I finance my reality show, and I bet it’s the most expensive local production and I don’t even get paid for that or get any revenue from it. Ideally, I should be inviting companies to do product placements, but I don’t have time for that. Tell me if that’s a sign of bankruptcy.”